1. Burlesque,caricature,parody,travesty refer to the literary or dramatic forms that imitate serious works or subjects to achieve a humorous or satiric purpose. The characteristic device of burlesque is mockery of both high and low through association with their opposites: a burlesque of high and low life.Caricature, usually associated with visual arts or with visual effects in literary works, implies exaggeration of characteristic details: The caricature emphasized his nose.Parody achieves its humor through application of the manner or technique, usually of a well-known writer, to unaccustomed subjects: a parody by Swift.Travesty implies a grotesque form of burlesque: characters so changed as to produce a travesty.
1660s, "derisive imitation, grotesque parody," from French burlesque (16c.), from Italian burlesco, from burla "joke, fun, mockery," possibly ultimately from Late Latin burra "trifle, nonsense," literally "flock of wool." Modern sense of "variety show featuring striptease" is American English, 1870. Originally (1857) "the sketches at the end of minstrel shows." As a verb, from 1670s.